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Insulin is a peptide hormone made of two polypeptide chains, and is secreted from the beta cells of the pancreas. The function of insulin is to increase the ability of certain organs, such as muscles and the liver, to utilize glucose and amino acids. Insulin also increases the total quantity of protein in the body by increasing the flow of amino acids into cells, accelerating messenger RNA translation, and increasing DNA transcription to form more RNA.

Insulin is essential for the proper metabolism and proper maintenance level of blood sugar. Secretion is primarily dependent upon the concentration of blood glucose, an increase of blood sugar bringing about an increase in the secretion of insulin. Inadequate secretion of insulin results in improper metabolism or carbohydrates and fats and brings on diabetes characterized by glucose accumulating in the blood and wastefully excreting in the urine. Various forms of insulin may be prepared and administered to temporarily treat a diabetic individual.

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